PASTOR'S PEN: School shopping for others

It’s school shopping time once again. I remember always wanting to get funny Garfield folders to make me laugh or Dale Earnhardt Sr. folders to display my favorite driver. There were those big erasers and little pencil sharpeners and calculators and backpacks and school clothes. I’m sure you can recall many school shopping memories as well.

As I walk through the stores now and see how inexpensive pencils, pens and paper are at this time of the year it makes me want to purchase stacks of them even though I no longer have a need for any of it right now. But there are those who do need them and this is the perfect opportunity for parents to teach their child or teen about giving. Did you know the Bible has a lot to say about caring for the poor and giving? Here are a few verses:

“He who is kind to the poor lends to the LORD, and He will reward him for what he has done.” Proverbs 19:17

“If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.” 1 John 3:17-18

“…if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday.” Isaiah 58:10

“…we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus Himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” Acts 20:35

“…(he) must work, doing something useful with his own hands, that he may have something to share with those in need.” Ephesians 4:28

And we can list many more verses about caring for the poor and those in need. This is a lesson easily taught at this time of year. When you are out school shopping with your teen or child, pick up and extra pack of pencils, paper or even school clothes. If you know someone who could use them, take those supplies to them or leave them anonymously. If you can’t think of anyone, give school supplies to your child’s teacher to use for those who need them or donate them to a charity that helps those in need. The point is this – God has given to you so that you can give to others. Now is the time to do that. Whether something small like a few erasers or something large like school clothes for a family, if we claim to know and follow Christ then let us live as He lived and love as He loved and give as He gave. Enjoy your time of giving.